11/30/2012 LD: "Resource Recycle"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's Latest Developments, which goes live Friday morning on magicthegathering.com.
I don't really get the way WOTC evaluated the audience for Deadbridge Goliath. If I play commander, which I do, paying to lose a creature that could be reanimated for such little reward is foolish. Otherwise it seems not worth it if you play other formats. Doom blade the targetted creature and all.

Most of what this article says is that WOTC still struggles figuring out how to balance the vastly different ways people evaulate Magic cards. If WOTC truly embraces people completely changing the rules of magic so it is nothing more than 'fun' there are massive errors in the content of this article.  Flashback for 10 counters that has twice the 'deal with it' factor than lose a creature to reanimate for less 'deal with it'-lessness. The comparison was wrong here.

I like the evokers a lot because I expect to make it to those mana points. It seems like trying to make them for people that don't get that is not the players' fault. That is kind of the problem with everything Tom writes. He seems to blame the players for not getting it, when it was? basically his job to do it the other way around.   

Scavenge is seriously narrow, to the point that if you don't play tournament Magic, it probably isn't worth it. If you weren't in the ballpark of those people with it, it is probably your bad, not theirs.  
The downside of "can't reanimate anymore" is only relevant to a few decks.  As for doom blading the creature in response to the scavenge, you probably just forced them to use a removal spell on something that wasn't that big of a threat before, and you haven't even lost any card advantage.

Now, that said, I've noticed that neither Scavenge nor Unleash really have any flair to them.  They both only show up on fairly vanilla creatures.  Detain at least has repeatable effects like Martial Law and New Prahv Guildmage, populate has crazy combo potential, and the overloaded versions of some spells are game-changing.  Maybe we'll see more in Dragon's Maze, but so far Scavenge and Unleash have been rather boring.
I really want to like scavenge, but every time I play my scavenge deck, I get blown out of the water before I've got enough mana to pay the scavenge costs. One of these days, though... One of these days.
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If I understand you correctly, you're upset that the Magic playing public takes a dim view of cards that suck?  Your analogy is flawed.  They suck once they leave that single instance of draft or sealed.  After our group's draft is completed, we rare draft.  1st gets the 1st pick and keeps it, 2nd next, etc.  Where do you think Deadbridge Goliath falls in that draft?

You intentionally make cards that suck by upping the cost of them or their abilities and it's a safe play.  Increasing costs makes some cardboard sit untraded in a binder.  If you were to go the other way, you'd have Skullclamp.  You know what you're doing.  Spiritmonger is missing one thing that 1) everyone wants it to have and 2) you knew it couldn't and wouldn't get.

What I detest is how you pretend that you're baffled by this.  It's your job.  You make things that suck ... or at a minimum are less awesome.  You know why.  You know how it will be received.  We'll always want more and it's your job not to give it to us.
I think Deadbridge Goliath is just fine, for what it's worth, and around the power level I personally would feel safe pushing were I a WotC employee.  

The "problem" if anything is that it's competing with ridiculously overpowered stuff like Thragtusk, which gives you the on-death bonus with no need to pay any mana, and also gives you a giant chunk of life, and also combos insanely well with any kind of reanimation or flicker where you get both effects again.  I respect that the Core Set needs a few guaranteed tourney playables, but really?  Really?

Also.  Obligatory note that all-upside mechanics like Scavenge & Flashback by neccessity need to look underwhelming.  Drawback mechanics, the ones that have been hidden in the closet, can look *better* than the "default" at first glance.  Wow, get a big creature on the cheap!  Draw extra cards for less!  (Just...  yeah, Time Spiral block's Echo & Vanishing cards were mostly awful on the power scale, except for maybe the timeshifted Avalanche Riders.  Okay and Keldon Marauders, but that doesn't even really feel like a Vanishing creature, more a bizarre burn spell.  Woo, get a downside and get a not particularly inspiring result out of it.  Having the variant echo costs was kind of a lame twist as well.)  Anyway, the point is, consider using a drawback mechanic again in the future (please?), but remember to honey it up with cards that look amazing at first glance and can actually compete.
The downside of "can't reanimate anymore" is only relevant to a few decks.  As for doom blading the creature in response to the scavenge, you probably just forced them to use a removal spell on something that wasn't that big of a threat before, and you haven't even lost any card advantage.



Yeah, had the same idea here. And unless you're playing a lot of mass reanimation, you're not likely to run out of stuff to reanimate, especially considering the amount of mass removal usually running around in Commander.

I fall under the casual crowd. Think Twice still reads horribly to me (I mean, five-mana Inspiration, seriously?). However, I understand that it is powerful and I cannot deny seriously enjoying playing with a flashback spell and getting all these minor advantages. Forbidden Alchemy reads a lot better though, mostly because the three-mana spell is something I wouldn't be terribly upset about casting on its own, and I can get a lot of synergies from it.

I like scavenge. They're okay bodies with upsides. I can see that working, especially for slow decks. I'll admit that I haven't played around with it a lot, though.

Edit:

I think Deadbridge Goliath is just fine, for what it's worth, and around the power level I personally would feel safe pushing were I a WotC employee.  

The "problem" if anything is that it's competing with ridiculously overpowered stuff like Thragtusk, which gives you the on-death bonus with no need to pay any mana, and also gives you a giant chunk of life, and also combos insanely well with any kind of reanimation or flicker where you get both effects again.  I respect that the Core Set needs a few guaranteed tourney playables, but really?  Really?



This, too.

76125763 wrote:
Zindaras' meta is like a fossil, ancient and its secrets yet to be uncovered. Only men of yore, long dead, knew of it.
I really want to like scavenge, but every time I play my scavenge deck, I get blown out of the water before I've got enough mana to pay the scavenge costs.


You optimist, you.

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Personally, I hated Deadbridge Goliath because it was BORING. It's two fat bodies for too little mana with no cunning and depth as to how they interact. I intensely dislike how MTG has gotten to the point where a four-turn clock on turn 4 with upside is essentially unplayed in Standard (says a lot about the power creep of creatures), and its ability to generate card advantage by just providing another obnoxious body is good but dull, because all it does is reintroduce the same damn Goliath for another round of Terror baiting. If Scavenge was instant-speed, it could lead to a few mindgames. If it did more than just boost power and toughness, it could create some cool interactions. But it does neither, and so a card like this just fails to interest me. You play it. You attack with it. And maybe you use it to attack with another creature for more damage. That's the New World Order idea of good design.

EDIT: In the Goliath's defense, it isn't Thragtusk.
Personally, I hated Deadbridge Goliath because it was BORING. It's two fat bodies for too little mana with no cunning and depth as to how they interact. I intensely dislike how MTG has gotten to the point where a four-turn clock on turn 4 with upside is essentially unplayed in Standard (says a lot about the power creep of creatures), and its ability to generate card advantage by just providing another obnoxious body is good but dull, because all it does is reintroduce the same damn Goliath for another round of Terror baiting. If Scavenge was instant-speed, it could lead to a few mindgames. If it did more than just boost power and toughness, it could create some cool interactions. But it does neither, and so a card like this just fails to interest me. You play it. You attack with it. And maybe you use it to attack with another creature for more damage. That's the New World Order idea of good design.

EDIT: In the Goliath's defense, it isn't Thragtusk.

Exactly this. I've seen a lot of response to "players don't like this" (Unleash, now this article with the snippet of the Goliath) be basically "It's stronger than it seems!"

So what? There are quite a few people who don't care about raw power. Always replying to criticism of your cards or mechanics with "Trust us, it's powerful" misses the point. A lot of the complaint hasn't been "Oh, that's unplayable" but "Oh, that's boring". Seriously, Scavenge always does the same thing: make something bigger. That's all it will ever do. There are all of maybe six Scavenge "designs": Scavenge 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. Unleash is also boring. You can cost them competitively all you want, but that doesn't change the fact that they're rather bland designs.

So please, stop pretending that power level is all that matters. Maybe acknowledge, for once, that "We don't like this" doesn't mean what you seem to think it means.
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I think Forbidden Alchemy would have been fine with a flashback of 6. Was there a specific reason it was changed? I get the feeling like sometimes development just changes costs arbitrarily. I know they test the cards (especially the commons and uncommons), but I can't imagine that Alchemy was too strong (or even broken) with a flashback of 6.
When I first saw the cost of Scavenge and Populate, I found their cost to be quite expensive. I have however tried to build decks around these abilities. Although surprisingly Populate seems to be quite easy to build around, with cards like Trostani or Séance, I have yet to see a deck that leverages Scavenge in a good way.
I'm not convinced that "I'll never get to 8 mana" counts as optimism - back when I started playing (5th/Urza) one of my early decks included Archangel - I eventually cut the card, not because a 5/5 Serra Angel is anything other than awesome, but because, after months of playing the deck, I'd managed to summon it maybe once - at the time, "I'll get to 7 mana" was wild optimism...

Modern magic is generally slower, and less dominated by Counterspell (and Terminate a couple of years later), so expensive costs are more achievable, but it's just as optimistic to rely on reaching 7+ mana (without acceleration) as it is to assume you never will.

Cards that are good at 3-4 mana as well as awesome at 7+ are, obviously, worth playing, but cards that require 7+ mana or else they suck are, generally, only worth including if you build your deck to ensure getting that far.

And grindy attritional advantage is, at best, deathly dull - sure, scavenge means your opponent needs to answer both your good card and one of your merely average cards, giving you an edge in card quality, but if I wanted to win by statistical averages, I'd just get out a spreadsheet rather than shuffling up to actually play...
M:tG Rules Advisor
I'll join the people who are not thrilled with Scavenge. The problem was that for the most part, all creatures with Scavenge got hit coming and going in terms of mana cost. With the exception of the phenomenal Dreg Mangler and the much-mentioned Deadbridge Goliath, all of the scavenge creatures are solidly boring:

Drudge Beetle is a bear, which isn't exactly thrilling.
Golgari Decoy is a 4 mana 2/2 with an ability that doesn't do much on such a creature.
Korozda Monitor is a 4 mana 3/3 trampler. Garruk's Companion didn't see heavy play and it was half the mana cost.
Sewer Shambler is a 3 mana 2/1. yaaaaaaay.
Slitherhead is a 1 mana 1/1 with a minor boost on death in a format with Gravecrawler and Diregraf Ghoul.
Sluiceway Scorpion is a 4 mana 2/2 deathtoucher in a format with Vampire Nighthawk and Ambush Viper
Terrus Wurm is a 7 mana 5/5.
Zanikev Locust is a 6 mana 3/3 flyer.

None of those are exciting on the front side and most are even worse on the back side. Scavenge only got the one rare, and it was pretty uninteresting.
Immature College Student (Also a Rules Advisor)
Scavenge isn't boring. You just have to think about how you're using it.

Are you scavenging on to an Invisible Stalker, a Fencing Ace, a Slumbering Dragon or a Falkenrath Exterminator?

Are you enabling scavenge by letting your creatures die in combat, sacrificing them for effects, discarding them for effects, or milling them?

I challenge Tom Lapille to create a budget decklist based on scavenge that will make us see the light.Wink

format: standard, modern, classic or older. I don't care.
deck: 60 cards constructed.
players: 2-player game.
budget: means 1 playset of rares and 2 playsets of uncommons, at most.

In my experience, "budget" decks are usually slightly more powerful than limited decks. They can take apart the unexpecting casual deck, but they can't be expected to overtake serious constructed decks.

Again in my experience, the only way to really get a feeling for a mechanic is to make a pile of cards with that mechanic and see what happens. I have "budget mechanic" decks for pretty much every mechanic ever created by WoC: from Affinity (no ravager), to exalted to cycling to dredge to graft and flashback. Because of the simple deck design process, they are also very consistent in getting the mechanic to activate.

So, Tom ... put your cards where your mouth is! :-)
Allow me to rephrase then:
Scavenge has interesting potential that rarely pays off.

The issue with Scavenge is that neither side is a card you're interested in playing, with only one or two exceptions.

Yes, if you scavenge onto something that has evasion or something to do with the counters, it's kinda cool but the fact that most of the scavenge creatures are so blah means I'd almost always rather just run Increasing Savagery or Blessings of Nature.

Scavenge, like most double value mechanics such as Unearth and Flashback is only really interesting if at least one half is worth playing in the first place.
Immature College Student (Also a Rules Advisor)
I'm pretty surprised casual players haven't taken to Scavenge.  It seems like a Splinterfright / Spider Spawning / Mulch / Grisly Salvage deck with some Scavenge guys and a Vampire Nighthawk or Daggerdrome Imp to beef up would be lots of fun.

 

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a Magic: the Gathering design blog
I'm pretty surprised casual players haven't taken to Scavenge.  It seems like a Splinterfright / Spider Spawning / Mulch / Grisly Salvage deck with some Scavenge guys and a Vampire Nighthawk or Daggerdrome Imp to beef up would be lots of fun.


The problem is that it just doesn't work. Scavenge isn't a big enough boost to make it worth jumping through the hoops to enable it. Running a bear that can be turned into 2 +1/+1 counters for 6 mana isn't exactly an exciting experience and most of the other Scavenge cards are similar.

Ultimately if you're going to do that you may as well just use Increasing Savagery and Blessings of Nature instead of scavengers and then just run actually good creatures.

Grisly Salvage is an amazing card though. Not gonna argue that one. It is absolutely my favorite Golgari card.
Immature College Student (Also a Rules Advisor)
I'm pretty surprised casual players haven't taken to Scavenge.  It seems like a Splinterfright / Spider Spawning / Mulch / Grisly Salvage deck with some Scavenge guys and a Vampire Nighthawk or Daggerdrome Imp to beef up would be lots of fun.



Unfortunately, Splinterfright, Spider Spawning and oddly enough, Jarad, Golgari Lich Lord all care about the number of creatures in the GY, which is basically the opposite of what you are doing when you Scavenge. You can make it work by not scavenging until you have a significant board presence, but you should already be winning by then.
I agree 100% with the people saying that scavenge sucks because it is boring more than because it is bad. Still, scavenge isn't exactly a constructed powerhouse, either. There's only one constructed-worthy scavenge card (Dreg Mangler), and that is constructed playable more because it is a 3/3 zombie with haste for 3 than because the scavenge part is good. On top of that, scavenge can't even shine in the one place it was meant to (limited), because Golgari is pretty universally regarded as the worst color combination in RTR draft. Contrast this with, say, overload, which has two constructed-playable cards (Mizzium Mortars and Cyclonic Rift), much more interesting flavor, and a bunch of cards that just end games in limited (the two cards already mentioned + Teleportal and Blustersquall).
Deadbridge Goliath is a strong Magic: The Gathering card- It's an undercosted threat that has the capacity to make a later threat too large to deal with. The thing of it though, is that most players aren't going to recognize it's capability until somebody proves it's worth, and honestly until players aren't spoiled by long complex text walls on their creature cards. Players often forget that creatures as a card type are particularly strong already because they are a lasting threat and do work for as long as they survive. The game's best creatures are often simplistic beatsticks with some simple clause that makes them obnoxiously large for their mana cost (like Nimble Mongoose)- but players have been conditioned to think that the level of complexity presented by creature cards like Grimgrin, Corpse-Born or Angel of Serenity should come standard for "good" creatures.

The problem, I think is that development takes awareness of small intricacies and places too much hope in the playerbase at large. Development team members are usually found on the pro-tour, where players are trained to scrutinize every value and min/max marginal differences. I think Goliath is a fine card, but it is far too subtle to expect the audience at large to fall head over heels for.

A similar story is Vorapede or Craterhoof Behemoth, one of which won a Grand Prix recently.
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I think a part of the reason Golgari didn't get anything too clever this time is because Dredge.

But I think what they needed to do was give Golgari a Snapcaster Elf.

"When this card enters the battlefield target creature card in your graveyard gains Scavenge X, where X is it's converted mana cost."

Or something similar but once a turn and an enchantment. Or an enchantment along the lines of-

"At the beginning of your upkeep remove a creature card in your graveyard from the game, and discard cards from the top of your deck equal to that creatures strength" for example.

Or a rare creature -

"When this creature dies, any 1/1 counters it had on it stay on it as long as it is in a graveyard. Scavenge."

Then again, I'm a standard player, so I can't say if any of those ideas would break any of the other formats...
I want to be Cultured.
Contrast this with, say, overload, which has two constructed-playable cards (Mizzium Mortars and Cyclonic Rift),


Lies. Electrickery is most certainly a playable card, even if it isn't the most useful option in the current metagame. It still does a lot of work at picking off Snaps, Spirit tokens, Blartists, or Gravecrawlers. The incredibly cheap overload cost means that you'll frequently be overloading it too. Vandalblast is likewise a solid card that just doesn't have a use in standard right now.

Heck, most of the Overload cards are constructed-playable given the right deck and meta. Scavenge cards can't really say the same.

Deadbridge Goliath is a strong Magic: The Gathering card- It's an undercosted threat that has the capacity to make a later threat too large to deal with. The thing of it though, is that most players aren't going to recognize it's capability until somebody proves it's worth, and honestly until players aren't spoiled by long complex text walls on their creature cards.

The problem, I think is that development takes awareness of small intricacies and places too much hope in the playerbase at large. Development team members are usually found on the pro-tour, where players are trained to scrutinize every value and min/max marginal differences. I think Goliath is a fine card, but it is far too subtle to expect the audience at large to fall head over heels for.


Here's the problem with that theory: Those cards that appear mediocre but are actually awesome are only of real interest to tournament players, who tend to run only the best options. This means that said cards have to actually be the best options. Deadbridge Goliath just isn't at that point of power. It's a card that looks mediocre and ends up being a little ways above the average playability of a rare. That's not very exciting.

Scavenge doesn't just look mediocre. It is mediocre. Nobody's writing about how amazing it is because it really isn't. Deadbridge Goliath has potential to turn a threat into a more dangerous one, but you're better off just running more dangerous threats in the first place.

As for needing massive text boxes for a card to be good: Vampire Nighthawk has three actual words in its rules text and is widely considered to be one of the best vampires. Thundermaw Hellkite isn't exactly a wall-o-text, and it's a powerhosue. The list continues.

But I think what they needed to do was give Golgari a Snapcaster Elf.

"When this card enters the battlefield target creature card in your graveyard gains Scavenge X, where X is it's converted mana cost."

Or something similar but once a turn and an enchantment.


They did try something similar in Death Denied which is effectively 'Whenever a creature you control dies, immediately scavenge it'. The reason they did Death Denied instead of just 'give something Scavenge' is that presumably if you were running a Golgari deck you were supposed to already be running creature with Scavenge so giving them Scavenge again is counterproductive.
Immature College Student (Also a Rules Advisor)
On top of that, scavenge can't even shine in the one place it was meant to (limited), because Golgari is pretty universally regarded as the worst color combination in RTR draft. Contrast this with, say, overload, which has two constructed-playable cards (Mizzium Mortars and Cyclonic Rift), much more interesting flavor, and a bunch of cards that just end games in limited (the two cards already mentioned + Teleportal and Blustersquall).



I'm not sure what universe that is, but certainly not this one.

Also, with your Izzet example, you do not talk about how it's regarded but its actual results, and those 2 can vary wildly for the guilds (especially Izzet, although less now than a while ago). 
Deadbridge Goliath is a strong Magic: The Gathering card- It's an undercosted threat that has the capacity to make a later threat too large to deal with. The thing of it though, is that most players aren't going to recognize it's capability until somebody proves it's worth, and honestly until players aren't spoiled by long complex text walls on their creature cards. Players often forget that creatures as a card type are particularly strong already because they are a lasting threat and do work for as long as they survive. The game's best creatures are often simplistic beatsticks with some simple clause that makes them obnoxiously large for their mana cost (like Nimble Mongoose)- but players have been conditioned to think that the level of complexity presented by creature cards like Grimgrin, Corpse-Born or Angel of Serenity should come standard for "good" creatures.

The problem, I think is that development takes awareness of small intricacies and places too much hope in the playerbase at large. Development team members are usually found on the pro-tour, where players are trained to scrutinize every value and min/max marginal differences. I think Goliath is a fine card, but it is far too subtle to expect the audience at large to fall head over heels for.

A similar story is Vorapede or Craterhoof Behemoth, one of which won a Grand Prix recently.



People aren't saying that goliath isn't strong. They are saying it is boring, and they'd rather play more interesting cards.
 
A card doesn't have to have a wall of text to not be boring. It just has to do something. I'll pay 4 for Nekretaal because it does something. Goliath doesn't do anything. I wouldn't play it even if its scavenge cost was 0. If I am recycling cards in my graveyard, I am using praetor's counsel or living death to do it so the value comes from a card being in my graveyard, not exiled. It comes from the card doing something when it enters the battlefield or doing something other than attacking for just 5.

All goliath has going for it are the numbers. Either they are better than numbers on other cards or not. The card appeals to people that are OK with their cards not doing anything other than being more efficient than other cards, and then the card has to actually be more efficient than other cards that are also supposed to be efficient.
     

I'm not sure what the point of this article was, seemingly trying to help the casual (which consists mostly of various constructed varieties) crowd understand Scavenge's power level, when I feel that Scavenge is pretty obviously a limited mechanic.
I like the idea of Scavenge creatures filling my graveyard in a Skullbriar Commander deck, but 60 card-casual? No I dont see that coming together well either.
But I draft. A lot. These cards may be boring to some people, but they are absolute 40-card powerhouses. I've been on the receiving end of a Goliath. Its hard to deal with. I didnt have a Doom Blade. I probably wasnt even playing black. Or if I was, I probably had a board full of Unleashed Cacklers and whatnot, and you just look at their big guy and think "Wtf am I going to do?"
I've also played my fair share of Korozda Monitors and Drudge Beetles, Sewer Shamblers, and Slitherheads. They're all fine bodies for their CMCs, if not particularly interesting cards, but then they tack on Scavenge...  
So yeah, its boring, but those +1/+1 counters dont even cost a card! Just mana. Mana thats tacked on to a dude that you've already smashed with! There is tremendous value there.
Contrast this with, say, overload, which has two constructed-playable cards (Mizzium Mortars and Cyclonic Rift),


Lies. Electrickery is most certainly a playable card, even if it isn't the most useful option in the current metagame. It still does a lot of work at picking off Snaps, Spirit tokens, Blartists, or Gravecrawlers. The incredibly cheap overload cost means that you'll frequently be overloading it too. Vandalblast is likewise a solid card that just doesn't have a use in standard right now.

Heck, most of the Overload cards are constructed-playable given the right deck and meta. Scavenge cards can't really say the same.

True, good points. I guess what I meant (and worded badly) was that there were two overload cards that I could imagine showing up in standard decks tomorrow, compared to scavenge's one, and that overload's immediate playability, among other factors, makes overload seem more exciting. There are indeed other overload cards that are powerful enough that they could show up in constructed in a different metagame. And I agree that scavenge can't really say the same.

On top of that, scavenge can't even shine in the one place it was meant to (limited), because Golgari is pretty universally regarded as the worst color combination in RTR draft. Contrast this with, say, overload, which has two constructed-playable cards (Mizzium Mortars and Cyclonic Rift), much more interesting flavor, and a bunch of cards that just end games in limited (the two cards already mentioned + Teleportal and Blustersquall).



I'm not sure what universe that is, but certainly not this one.

OK OK, maybe "universally" was an exaggeration. But Golgari--and the scavenge deck, in particular--does not seem to be highly regarded among pros, with the exception of Brad Nelson. And even he admits that a large part of its playability comes from the fact that no one else drafts it.

Also, with your Izzet example, you do not talk about how it's regarded but its actual results, and those 2 can vary wildly for the guilds (especially Izzet, although less now than a while ago). 

Are you saying that Izzet is more highly regarded or less highly regarded than its results should indicate? Anyways, I was trying to make the argument that scavenge is boring, which makes people dislike it, and that that is compounded by the fact that none of the scavenge cards are very good, which makes people dislike it more. I contrasted that with Izzet, which has an exciting mechanic and good cards using that mechanic. I was talking about Izzet's "results" to demonstrate that the power level of the overload cards makes overload as a mechanic seem more exciting.
OK OK, maybe "universally" was an exaggeration. But Golgari--and the scavenge deck, in particular--does not seem to be highly regarded among pros, with the exception of Brad Nelson. And even he admits that a large part of its playability comes from the fact that no one else drafts it.



At the very least, Yuuya Watanabe does too.

www.wizards.com/magic/magazine/article.a...
www.wizards.com/magic/magazine/article.a...

But yeah, the Golgari deck isn't a Scavenge deck, just like the Izzet deck isn't an Overload deck. In contrast to Populate or Unleash decks.

Also where are these talks about Golgari being avoided? I've never heard such things, but I don't read everything, so I would like to catch up with what I've missed.

Are you saying that Izzet is more highly regarded or less highly regarded than its results should indicate? Anyways, I was trying to make the argument that scavenge is boring, which makes people dislike it, and that that is compounded by the fact that none of the scavenge cards are very good, which makes people dislike it more. I contrasted that with Izzet, which has an exciting mechanic and good cards using that mechanic. I was talking about Izzet's "results" to demonstrate that the power level of the overload cards makes overload as a mechanic seem more exciting.



Izzet's results are better than its popularity. At least a while ago, it is possible that its popularity has risen since then. 

puremtgo.com/articles/ars-arcanum-rtr-dr...
erdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:12px; margin:8px">Another consideration is that, in the grand scheme of things, bigger creatures just don't make for better games.  The idea of big creatures is cool.  Certainly players have been buildng their own fatties long before there were Wombats to justify it.  And yes, if one spell ends the game I'd rather it's a dragon than a Tendrils.

But the effect a huge creature has is that it dies just the same (making the size irrelevant) or ends the game (making everything irrelevant).  Let's talk about those late game stalls when we're both living from the top of the deck.  If my opp draws a 3/3 and I get a land, I may have time to recover with my next draw or two.  If he plays a 9/9 and I get a land, the game is pretty much over.  It's inherently less interactive.  Again the thought of getting that fattie is cool, but the ultimate result is a lesser game.

The people who defend scavenge talk about the cool ability-enabled creatures you can beef up.  Sure, because those cards are fun.  They're better with Scavenge, but also better with reinforce, or totem armor, or a Serra's Embrace, or anything that's more interesting than "lots of mana for counters."

Dragon_Nut has it right.  Scavenge is too boring for casuals and a touch too weak for tournament players.    It's Fusion Elemental as a mechanic.  We see what you did there, but ultimately just don't care.

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Its just a 5/5. That's not that impressive in Magic anymore. Especially when for one mana more, we can get a 5/3 that gives us five life and a 3/3 when it leaves play for any reason. Or two 2/2's and two life, with the potential for one to double in power and shock something for the same cost. 
Or a 4/3 flyer that can win the game on its own.

A 5/5 for 4 just isn't that good anymore. Sorry Tom. 

(at)MrEnglish22

I for one LOVE Scavenge. It's a very efficeint way of using your resurces and I like that. I like various magic cards for various reasons and that's one of them. If there's one RtR mechanic I'm not a fan of it's Unleash. Unleash creates some interesting decisions in limited, but in constructed it simply gives you more power at a cost of the same drawback in each case (at least most of the time).

My favourite Scavenge cards are Dreg Mangler, Slitherhead and Deadbridge Goliath.

Slitherhead on it's own is unimpressive but in a set with Lotleth Troll and Corpssejack Menace it's just beautiful Suddenly you can get 2 x 2 +1/+1 counters ath cost of one card and no mana at all ! It's Basking Rootwalla all over again  :D

Dreg Mangler curves pervectly in the very same deck. Both as a great creature and for it's Scavenge ability. While Scavenge is not the most cost efficeint way of getting a boost, tha must is frickin FREEBIE ! You spend no card at all. It's like drawing two cards at the same time. If you understand that both Mangler and Goliath share a very efficient Scavenge cost.

When I first saw Deadbridge Goliath I was very excited. I thought to myself "Just wait for Gatecrash, it will go straight into some RG aggro deck and man will it ROCK " . 5/5 for 4 mana is very good. Even better if it gives you so much gas should the game go long. Something very desirable for an aggro deck.

One advice to you guys. Dont build Scavenge decks. They wont work if all you vant to do is build a big creature as afast as you can. Just play aggro/aggro-control and scavenge for some late game power to overwhelm your oppont after you both have drained your initial resurces. That's how I see it and how I like it.
Wasn't Lapille booted over to DnD? If so, why is his stuff still appearing on Dailymtg.com

He does an effective job of insulting us casual players (and even non-casuals). Once again, he buys into the 'casual is dumb' mentality...

Deadbridge Goliath is a strong creature, but it is also very boring. Casual players aren't going to be too excited, and neither are competitive players. Just because certain groups don't like a certain card doesn't mean they 'don't get it'.
I think Tom was in a bad mood when he wrote this article.  I've been there.  Tom, buck up, dude.  Turn that frown upside down!

The fact that "scavenge sucks" so hard will no doubt be borne out by its impact on longer-term sales: surely, this is a preview of the market reality Wizards of the Coast is about to experience in brutal fashion!  This is just the spark, which will result in the raging flames of record low numbers for Gatecrash prerelease numbers and pack sales, from January forward.  

Either that, or some people here are just talking out of their ass, and scavenge is a simple mechanic with a simple purpose, which fits into a greater whole, which we all accept because it results in an utterly acceptable (and occasionally amazing) product.  

Good heavens, people.  Have we NOT seen hundreds of cards, for casual players OR tournament players, that have potentially ridiculous interactions with +1/+1 counters?  Doubling Season alone is a reason to be glad Wizards doesn't go overboard with interactions that relate to everyday mechanics like +1/+1 counters.

Maybe I'm in a bad mood, too! 

And grindy attritional advantage is, at best, deathly dull - sure, scavenge means your opponent needs to answer both your good card and one of your merely average cards, giving you an edge in card quality, but if I wanted to win by statistical averages, I'd just get out a spreadsheet rather than shuffling up to actually play...



Really? I prefer the attrition wars because thats where card advantage and other factors can really shine. I enjoy slowly dominating a game while undermining my opponent, although I can understand if others feel like they're being locked out of playing. Attrition play isn't statistics though, its just taking slowly obtaining an edge over the opponent(s). I suppose Golgari (and ozrhova to some extent) lends itself most to this type of play due to the long-term nature of the design.

As for the article itself, I agree with another poster who said that the problem with the mechanic is that its dull. Granted not every mechanic needs to be exciting, but having an offical spokesperson for the company complain about it is odd when it should be very obvious that the mechanic was designed to be as dull as possible.

Rosewater himself admitted they went for the simplest solution. Of course simple doesn't always have to mean boring, but when all the mechanic does is grow a creature, there's really not much room for other uses.

The fact that "scavenge sucks" so hard will no doubt be borne out by its impact on longer-term sales: surely, this is a preview of the market reality Wizards of the Coast is about to experience in brutal fashion!  This is just the spark, which will result in the raging flames of record low numbers for Gatecrash prerelease numbers and pack sales, from January forward.


One mechanic is terrible != the entire set is terrible. Scavenge is a boring mechanic. That doesn't mean RTR is a boring set. Nobody is trying to say that Scavenge being bad is a sign that RTR as a whole is bad. They can't all be winners and 3/5 mechanics being good is a pretty good record.

I have a hunch the reason Scavenge is so boring currently is because it was changed relatively close to print. They've said that Scavenge originally also granted the ability on the creature but they just couldn't make that work. Rather than pushing a mechanic they didn't have time to fully test, they decided to just let it be mediocre and safe.
Immature College Student (Also a Rules Advisor)
Greetings everyone!

i have to say - as a rather casual oriented magic play that sometimes goes to FNM and also visits Grands Prix - that i personally find the flavour side of scavenge very interesting; even tough i never bought packs of the original ravnica expansions (but got beaten by decks constructed from them), i immediatly fell in love with the golgari guild as it - for me - succeeds in convening this life/death/life "reuse" cycle; i started drafting golgari decks with friends and we all had a lot of fun with it; for me the mechanic chosen feels "befitting" of golgari from a storyline point of view and it never felt boring. I then started constructing my own golgari deck for fnm and i have to say - scavenge can be very powerful and fun! I am not a very successful tournament player, but i had my bright moments; when friends tell you to call for them when your Daggerdrome goes above ten +1/+1 counters so they could watch the game my opponent and me were playing, i feel like scavenge can be very fun and can be strong; i dont know about it winning everything but at least i got a fair rating out of tournaments i played.
the point being -  thats the reason why there are *five* guilds with mechanics; imho, scavenge is neiter weak nor boring, but it may be unappealing to some players, and that is a good thing because i would want variety when playing against other people, so indeed i hope that different people like different aspects or mechanics about magic!
As for the articles online only "defending" the cards; first of all developers and designers are people like us and as such they have a right to be proud about what they create; and second i actually enjoyed the articles about the other (non-golgari) guilds as they gave me insights (which were at least for me, as not that a good player, valuable) which i didn't have about how to play other mechanics best (because i almost solely focused on golgari and izzet in the beginning). So while some things in the golgari articles were obvious to me (while others were new also for me), i figure people who didn't give golgari much of a try might be inspired to do so by the articles; and that's what they're about after all in my opinion, to encourage people to test and expand their limits in magic.

just my 2 cents :-)
Finally got my Scavenge deck working pretty close to how it should tonight. A 5/5 deadbridge goliath at turn four which scavenges a dreg mangler next turn before attacking can cause some worry. Especially if your opponent spent his direct damage taking out that mangler and your lotleth troll on turns three and two. Still some room for improvement, but it's a fun deck to play when it works.
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Its just a 5/5. That's not that impressive in Magic anymore. Especially when for one mana more, we can get a 5/3 that gives us five life and a 3/3 when it leaves play for any reason. Or two 2/2's and two life, with the potential for one to double in power and shock something for the same cost. 
Or a 4/3 flyer that can win the game on its own.

A 5/5 for 4 just isn't that good anymore. Sorry Tom. 


This.

Creature power creep is very real. The gap between normal creatures and those designed to affect constructed is widening, ruining far more things than the "problems they are trying to solve". Sure, you might be able to kill UW aggro control after 10 cards, but in the meantime you have damaged casual players, budget players and several viable and semi-viable archetypes. What are your "failed" attempts at fixing standard doing now? The only thing cards such as Vorapede, Armada Wurm and Wolfir Silverheart have accomplished is make some casual player get frustrated because he had to play against absurd creatures with his cool little Burning Vengeance or self mill deck.

Sure, you might get successes such as Thragtusk, Huntmaster of the Fells and Thundermaw Hellkite, but at what cost? Forcing every player to play the same creatures or not have a chance is a grim future. It just looks like there's 0 vision of the future regarding power creep, and if you contine a time will come when Wurmcoil Engine and Thragtusk will be completely unplayable.

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192884403 wrote:
surely one can't say complex conditional passive language is bad grammar ?
Personally, what I really, honestly HATE about Scavenge... is the speed.

Sorcery Speed.

So, I have to pay an unreasonably huge stack of mana for a few paltry +1/+1 counters... and I can't even do it in response? I can't use it as a combat trick, or to save a creature? (And yes, it costs too much. Accept it, developers.)

Sure, it wouldn't help against, say, Doomblade... but a burn spell is different. You're doing 3 to my 2/2? Well, I pay 14 mana and Scavenge to add 3 +1/+1 counters! Either you use another spell or your first spell was wasted. Give me some versatility. Let me use it as a super-expensive permanent Giant Growth. Something. Anything.
Personally, what I really, honestly HATE about Scavenge... is the speed.

Sorcery Speed.

So, I have to pay an unreasonably huge stack of mana for a few paltry +1/+1 counters... and I can't even do it in response? I can't use it as a combat trick, or to save a creature? (And yes, it costs too much. Accept it, developers.)

Sure, it wouldn't help against, say, Doomblade... but a burn spell is different. You're doing 3 to my 2/2? Well, I pay 14 mana and Scavenge to add 3 +1/+1 counters! Either you use another spell or your first spell was wasted. Give me some versatility. Let me use it as a super-expensive permanent Giant Growth. Something. Anything.




Agree 100%. Sorcery speed is just too limiting. Also, there should have been at least one creature who could sacrifice itself. I love the guild, but I just think you guys played it too safe. With all the graveyard hate, the sorcery speed and the fact that all creatures with scavenge are either vanilla or french vanilla, it just makes Golgari less interesting than it could have been.
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